In the history of architecture, few materials have stood the test of time quite like slate.
Slate’s popularity as a roofing material first experienced a huge boom during the Industrial Revolution in Europe. As transportation systems improved during the 1870s, locally mined slate was transported around the continent until the outbreak of the First World War.
Today, natural slate is once again seeing a huge increase in popularity as a roofing material. This is, in part, thanks to its outstanding sustainability credentials as many within the construction industry look to use greener materials.
Sustainable slate roof tiles for a greener future
Slate is perfectly suited to roofing. It is extremely durable and weather resistant, and also provides excellent fire resistance. As we strive to reduce carbon emissions by using more eco-friendly materials and methods of production, slate has, once again, risen to prominence in the construction industry.
For those requiring a sustainable roofing material, slate is an excellent choice.
A natural roofing material
Slate is a 100% naturally occurring material.
Formed over centuries of geological processes, slate contains none of the chemicals associated with other roofing materials. Because it requires no manufacturing (just processing), slate is a great choice for those looking to reduce the carbon footprint of their constructions.
Additionally, when compared to common alternative roofing materials, slate undoubtedly possesses the lowest carbon footprint. Compared with concrete tiles (which are responsible for 0.19kg of CO2 per kilo) and clay tiles (0.43kg of CO2 per kilo) natural slate offers a comparably low carbon footprint – just 0.005kg of CO2 per kilo.
The outstanding longevity of Spanish slate roof tiles
Installing a roof will always have some environmental impact from manufacturing, processing, and transportation. However, when you use natural slate, the longevity and durability of the roof will offset this impact, making it a great choice for environmentally conscious constructions.
SSQ slate has a natural life expectancy of over 100 years – in fact, it will often outlive the building where it’s installed. This is far longer than other roofing materials such as cement, concrete, and clay (which usually last between 30 to 40 years). At SSQ, we even offer guarantees for our slates to ensure complete peace of mind.
With proper installation techniques, the durable nature of this long lasting roofing material ensures protection against even the harshest weather for decades. Better still, this durability comes with very low maintenance requirements, making it perfect for both residential and commercial projects.
SSQ’s Spanish slate: sustainably sourced roofing materials
While slate itself is already a sustainable roofing material, at SSQ we take extra measures to ensure that our slate is extracted with the smallest ecological impact possible.
At the SSQ-owned Phyllite quarry in Argentina and the slate quarries we work with in Spain, slate extraction is achieved with very little environmental impact.
The sourcing and manufacturing processes of SSQ’s Spanish slate prioritise environmental preservation. Low electricity diamond cutters are used to extract the slate from the quarries where it is then hand split into individual slates. Compared to the kilns used to produce clay tiles or the chemical processes involved in concrete production, the extraction of slate offers a far smaller impact on the environment.
At SSQ, we also repurpose any waste materials by using them as slate chippings for driveways or patio areas.
Spanish slate is an excellent roofing material that has the potential to play a vital part in the global drive to reduce carbon emissions. However, this material isn’t just renowned for its environmental credentials. It’s also an aesthetically attractive roofing choice and has been used in a diverse range of heritage building renovation projects across the UK.
Discover the unmatched beauty of natural Spanish roof slate
The sustainability of this material isn’t the only reason for its popularity. The beauty and colour of natural slate adds a timeless elegance to any roofing project. Our Spanish slate roofing tiles are geologically and aesthetically similar to Welsh slate, perfect for UK homeowners looking for replacement roofing tiles. We offer a range of Spanish slate products, from our much-loved Del Carmen slate to our textured Del Prado slate.
With varying hues ranging from rich blue-grey to striking deep blue-black, Spanish slate seamlessly combines functionality with sophistication.
Find the perfect slate for your next roofing project
Frequently asked questions
What are the benefits of a slate roof?
Having a slate roof is a great choice. Slate roofs offer reliable protection against water, mould and fungus since slate is impervious to water. Slate is also fireproof and offers exceptional durability, lasting up to a century.
How long does a slate roof last?
The durability of a slate roof is based on the type of slate utilised. At SSQ, our slates can last decades and, in the case of our most premium products, a whole century.
How do you choose the right slate for your roof?
Understanding the required overlap and considering the pitch of your roof are crucial in selecting the right slate roofing material.
You can find more technical information about each of our slate and phyllite products in our Resources section, or feel free to get in touch with a member of our technical team who can provide you with assistance in finding the best slate for your project.